Ashkelon school damaged in Grad attack/Hamas: We will never recognize Israel/other interesting stories
1) Hamas: We will never recognize Israel
2) Media sources confirm: Exiled Hamas leader entered Gaza Strip
3) Livni praises US boycott of Durban II
4) Ashkelon school damaged in Grad attack
5) Arab League: Arab states haven't delivered on Gaza pledges
6) Atlas Shrugs - 6 new articles
a) OBAMA SURPRISE: US PULLS OUT OF DURBAN II
b) Unindicted Co-Conspirator, FBI banned CAIR Asks AG Holder to Defend U.S. Muslim Rights
c) It's Official
d) OBAMA'S TERRIBLE APPOINTMENT: CHAS FREEMAN
e) CPAC 2009: JEROME CORSI, ROBERT SPENCER AND ATLAS!
f) PART II: ALYSSA LAPPEN INTERVIEWS ATLAS: ISLAM'S WAR ON WOMEN
7) SWI NEWS: 4 Adar 5769, Saturday, February 28, 2009
a) Experts: Grads in Ashkelon were advanced
b) Lieberman going soft on Iran?
c) Iran offers Obama nuclear negotiations – with a catch
d) Abbas: Palestinian unity gov't must support two-state solution
e) **Netanyahu Says He'll Honor Israel's Commitments**
f) Is Obama aiding & abetting ECONOMIC JIHAD against America?
g) Mujahideen Monitor U.S. Economy, Attempt to Undermine Dollar (MEMRI)
: We will never recognize Israel
Group shuns Abbas' offer of unity gov't, which he says must agree to
two-state solution with Israel
Reuters Published: 02.28.09, 17:42 /
said on Saturday any unity government
with Hamas would have to agree to a two-state solution with Israel, a demand
quickly rejected by his Islamist rivals.
The disagreement could hamper Egyptian-brokered reconciliation talks aimed
at ending a schism between the Hamas-ruled and the occupied West
Bank, where Abbas's Fatah faction holds sway.
"We are moving in steady steps towards ... a national unity government that
abides by our known commitments, which include the two-state vision and the
signed (peace) commitments," Abbas said in the West Bank city of .
Hamas official Ayman Taha in Gaza said Abbas's comments undermine chances
for reaching a unity agreement.
"We reject any pre-conditions in the formation of the unity government.
Hamas will never accept a unity government that recognizes Israel," Taha
A dozen Palestinian factions including Fatah and Hamas began reconciliation
talks in Cairo on Thursday to try to agree by March 20 on a unity
government. Previous efforts by Arab negotiators to reconcile Fatah and
Hamas have failed.
A deal could lead to the lifting of Israel's blockade of the Gaza strip and
boost Abbas's peacemaking efforts with Israel.
But Hamas continues to say it will not formally recognise Israel and its
1988 founding charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Media sources confirm: Exiled Hamas leader entered Gaza Strip
Date: 28 / 02 / 2009 Time: 10:40
Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Hamas politburo head Moussa Abu Marzouq entered
the on Thursday night for the first time since his exile 30 years
earlier, according to news reports.
The London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on Saturday that Marzouq's visit
was intended to strengthen negotiations between Israel and Hamas and to
speed up negotiations over the fate of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit
in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.
Sources added that Abu Marzouq, who usually resides in Damascus, entered
through the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. A Hamas
official told a German news agency that the senior Hamas leader entered the
besieged Strip late Thursday night to visit family in Rafah, leaving a few
Even though Egypt controls the crossing into , Abu Marzouq would not
have been allowed entry to the Gaza Strip without the permission of Israeli
authorities, Palestinian sources reportedly told Hebrew-language newspaper
The same sources reportedly said that his visit came following the
conclusion of Fatah-Hamas talks in Cairo, where Abu Marzouq headed the Hamas
Livni praises US boycott of Durban II
ap and jpost.com staff , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 27, 2009
on Saturday praised a US decision not to take
part in UN anti-racism conference Durban II. The foreign minister said the
conference would be "anti-Semitic and anti-Israel under the mask of fighting
She added that the decision "must lead the way for more countries that share
the same values" to make similar moves.
also applauded the US move, saying "this decision
highlights the American government's commitment to Israel."
He said called the decision "a sign for the entire world" of the "close
relationship" between Israel and the US.
On Friday, a senior US official said that the US would not participate in
the April conference unless the final document is changed to drop all
references to Israel and the defamation of religion.
The conference is a follow-up to the contentious 2001 conference in the
South African city of Durban which was dominated by clashes over the Middle
East and the legacy of slavery. The US and Israel walked out midway through
that eight-day meeting over a draft resolution that singled out Israel for
criticism and likened Zionism to racism.
Israel and Canada have already announced that they will boycott the upcoming
in Geneva from April 20-25, known as Durban
II, but US President 's administration decided to assess the
negotiations before making a decision on US participation.
Last week, the State Department sent two US representatives to Geneva, where
the final document to be issued by conference participants at the end of the
conference is being negotiated, the US officials said, speaking on condition
of anonymity because an official announcement has not yet been made.
The representatives - Betty White, a former US ambassador to the UN Economic
and Social Council, and Felice Gaer, the chair of the US Commission on
International Religious Freedom - held 30 meetings with representatives of
different countries and attended the negotiations, the US official said.
While the US presence was warmly welcomed, the US official said that in the
negotiations, a bad document got worse.
The United States has decided that it will not participate in further
negotiations on the outcome document and will not participate in the
conference itself on the basis of the latest text, the US official said.
The Obama administration would reconsider its position if the document
improves in a number of areas including dropping references to any specific
country, references to defamation of religion which the US views as a free
speech issue, and language on reparations for slavery. It also wants a
shorter text and does not want the final document for Durban II to reaffirm
the final document from the 2001 Durban conference, the US official said.
Itzhak Levanon, Israel's former UN envoy in Geneva, said before departing
last August that with Libya chairing preparations for Durban II and Iran and
Cuba also involved, the conference had the making of another international
"bashing of Israel."
Ashkelon school damaged in Grad attack
JPost.com Staff and Yaakov Lappin , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 27, 2009
Palestinians in the fired at least five projectiles at southern
Israel on Saturday, with a Grad-type rocket hitting and heavily damaging an
No one was wounded in the attack, as the school was closed, though a number
of residents were treated for shock. Another Grad rocket landed in an open
area just outside the city.
Ashkelon residents reported hearing an air raid siren at 8:43 am, before a
rocket tore through the school, destroying classrooms and spraying pieces of
shrapnel in all directions.
Following the rocket fire, the Ashkelon Municipality reactivated its
emergency command and control center, situated in a bomb shelter adjacent to
city hall, where situation analysis meetings have been scheduled for
The center had served as a hub for coordinating emergency responses to the
large numbers of rockets fired at the city during Operation Cast Lead.
"In light of the situation, we can say with certainty that the school struck
by a rocket will not be open tomorrow. We will have to find an alternative
solution for students. The remainder of the schools will open on Sunday,"
Deputy Mayor Shlomo Cohen said.
Cohen added that the municipality "shared the concerns of parents in light
of the deterioration of the situation, but we must remember that carrying on
in a routine manner means bolstering the education system and the whole of
the city of Ashkelon."
A tour of the school by Ashkelon Municipality safety officials found that
shrapnel damage had reached parts of the building which had been designated
as safe zones by the .
The municipality has been waiting for two weeks for the Ministry of Defense
to approve rocket reinforcement construction plans drawn up to protect
schools in the city, Cohen said, adding that the school struck in Saturday's
attack was on the list of school waiting for protection.
"Ashkelon Municipality has demanded that the school be equipped with
inexpensive basic rocket protection reinforcement. The reinforcement plans
have been approved by the municipality and the Home Front Command. They have
been sitting on the desks of Defense Ministry officials for two weeks,
waiting for approval," Cohen said.
Also Saturday, a struck an open area in the Eshkol region,
causing no casualties or damage.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility by Palestinians.
On Friday, Gazans fired a Kassam that hit an open area in the Sdot Negev
region. No one was wounded and no damage was caused by the rocket launched
from northern .
On Thursday, a number of Sderot residents were treated for shock when
tragedy was narrowly averted when a rocket landed close to two houses.
In response to that attack, IAF aircraft hit smuggling tunnels in the
southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources were quoted by Israel Radio as
saying that there were no casualties in the attack, during which at least
three missiles were fired.
Rockets also hit the Eshkol and Sha'ar Hanegev regions Thursday, causing no
casualties or damage.
AP contributed to this report.
: Arab states haven't delivered on Gaza pledges
By The Associated Press Last update - 20:46 28/02/2009
A senior says Arab countries have not delivered any of
the more than $1 billion they pledged to rebuild after Israel's
The official says the money pledged in mid-January has been held up because
of disagreements between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas about who
should receive donations.
He says Arab countries are waiting to see whether a solution to the
disagreement is reached at an international meeting on Gaza reconstruction
in on Monday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because he was not
authorized to talk to the media.
Saudi Arabia pledged $1 billion for Gaza reconstruction, Qatar $250 million
and Algeria $ .
Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah in 2007.
Atlas Shrugs - 6 new articles
It must have called for a final solution. The agenda must have been vile. Perhaps it's to offset the appointment of Freeman - he is the most egregious of Obama's appointments.
The Obama administration has decided to boycott the so-called Durban II conference out of concerns for anti-Semitism. Multiple sources on a conference call with the White House on Friday told JTA that the Obama administration had opted not to attend any further preparatory meetings ahead of the planned U.N. conference against racism in Geneva in April.
For more news coverage, visit JTA.org.
Muslim rights? No special classses . This is America. No special rights for special classes. This should be interesting to watch how Holder responds to CAIR and how the President Hussein adminsitration will handles thsi terror tied group.CAIR Asks AG Holder to Defend U.S. Muslim Rights -- CAIR Press Release
Recent incidents target Islam, Muslim lobbying, mosques, Islamic religious rights
WASHINGTON, Feb 26, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on Attorney General Eric Holder to protect the right of American Muslims to participate fully in the political process and to practice their faith without fear of government intrusion. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued that appeal following a number of recent government-related incidents targeting Islam, American Muslim lobbying efforts, American mosques, and Muslim religious practices.
In a letter to Attorney General Holder, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote: "Today in Congress, taxpayer funds are being used for the screening of a virulently anti-Islam film and to promote the Islamophobic views of its producer. Despite appeals to offer a balancing perspective to the closed-door screening, elected officials and congressional staff will hear only anti-Muslim invective, without an opportunity for response from American Muslims.
Another henchman in President's Be Hussein's Reich.Obama Announcement "F**K The Jews They Will Vote for US Anyway" Yid with Lid
I just received the following notice:
As discussed over the last few days Ambassador Freeman is not just Anti-Israel, his views go way beyond the range of normal, even for an opponent of the Jewish State. Freeman runs magazine that claims the Iraq war was waged to help Israel . He subscribes the the "Walt and Mearsheimer contention that the Israel Lobby (a nice way of saying Jews) control the US Foreign policy. His MEPC political action group publishes a Workbook that teaches our children that the Muslims discovered the "New World" and the "Indians" who met he English Explorers all had Muslim names. The man will now be the gatekeeper deciding what gets to the President, is a Friend of the Bin Laden family, Sportive of Chinese Cruelty and runs a company Projects International that does a lot of buisness with the Saudi Royal family.
The Director of National Intelligence has selected Charles W. Freeman, Jr. as the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC). The Chairman of the NIC will report to the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis (DDNYA) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). As Chairman of the NIC, Ambassador Freeman will be responsible for overseeing the production of National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) and other Intelligence Community analytical products, providing substantive counsel to the DNI and senior policymakers on issues of top national security importance, reaching out to nongovernmental experts in academia and the private sector to broaden the Intelligence Community's perspective, and articulating substantive intelligence priorities and procedures to guide intelligence collection and analysis.
Its only been five weeks, but the President has made great strides to prove what many in the conservative community were warning the Jewish voters, "Obama is not a supporter of the Jewish State" Just look at the other moves he has made over the past two weeks....
Here's part II of journalist Alyssa Lappen over at Right Side News -- it's lengthy; what follows is a small excerpt. If you missed part one, go here.
Part Two: How Muslim Theory Suppresses Women By Alyssa A. Lappen
U.S. women received universal suffrage in 1920 with passage of the 19th Constitutional Amendment, avowing that neither the federal government nor any state could deny or abridge the right of U.S. citizens "to vote ... on account of sex." Article II granted Congress the right to enforce the amendment legislatively.
Long before the U.S. declared itself a nation, however, America gave women at large great respect. The Uxbridge, Mass. town fathers in 1756 granted the young widow Lydia Taft the right to vote in local matters, for example. America again showed its respect for women in 1789 when the states ratified the U.S. Constitution, inferring rights to women amongst "We the people of the United States," when early 19th century suffragette Abby Kelley Foster first sought votes for women, and in 1869 when Susan B. Anthony's formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.
Voting rights would never have accrued to American women, moreover, without their basic and universal right to free speech and their right "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances," as guaranteed in the First Amendment, drafted and ratified in 1791.
Nowhere in the world, by contrast, does Islam grant such rights to women, either political or religious. Far from it. Current Islamic teaching more or less parallels that of the 7th century original. In October 2006, for example, former Australian Mufti Sheikh Taj Aldin al-Hilali described women as "uncovered meat" in a sermon at Sydney's Lakemba mosque. Similarly, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual chief Yusuf Qaradawi, widely recognized as Islam's "greatest" living scholar, in the Status of Women in Islam derides any woman having "free rein to assert herself, promote her personality, enjoy her life and her femininity... mix with men freely, experience them closely where they would be together and alone, travel with them, go to cinemas or dance till midnight together."
Moreover that theme---of women as not only chattel, but actually meat---is embedded in Islamic tradition, as stated by Second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (634-644). Umar stated, "innamaa al-nisaa' laHm `alaa waDam illaa maa dhubba `anhu" (Women are only meat on the butcher's block, except for any parts that have dried up), according to a medieval Arabic text cited in 1937 by the great Islamic scholar, Georges Vajda. 
This might be unbelievable but for the fact that Islamic law, as cited in the Hadith (traditions of Mohammed) ascribes to women's testimony just half the value given to that of men. Muslims consider the accounts of Sahih al-Bukhari unassailable. And according to Sahih al-Bukhari (3:48:826), Mohammed said, "This is because of the deficiency of the women's mind." Presumably for the same reason, Islamic law historically accepts accusations of rape only when there are four witnesses (not including the victim), an intentionally impossible benchmark. Three quarters of women imprisoned under Pakistan's hudud laws, not surprisingly, are reported to be rape victims.
The global Muslim war on free speech is best exemplified by verbal and legal attacks on Dutch freedom fighter and Member of Parliament Geert Wilders, who has for years required non-stop personal security protection, now faces trial at home for his truthful statements quoting the Qur'an, and was recently barred entry to the U.K. This is all the work of advocates for global shari'a rule.
As we've previously noted at Right Side News, several large North American Muslim organizations also advocate global imposition of Islamic law, which prohibits "defamation" of Islam and Mohammed. For Muslims who leave the faith or "blaspheme" against Islam or Mohammed, the punishment is death, a statute on the books in several Muslim states, and widely enforced by mob rule in others. Non-Muslims may not criticize Islam or Mohammed, either. Pakistan's hudud code enforces shari'a laws on everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan also enforce hudud laws. According to Islamic scholars, these statutes apply to all of mankind.
"Shari'a is barbaric, hateful, imperialistic, and unjust," says ex-Muslim Abul Kasem, who no doubt voices the thoughts of tens of thousands of former Muslims. But the situation in which shari'a places women, both in Islamic countries and the West, is by far one of most intolerable created by the code. In Women in Islam: an Exegesis Kasem, a contributor to Leaving Islam, Ibn Warraq's superb collection of essays by a host of former Muslims, challenges readers to imagine their mothers and sisters imprisoned under such shari'a.
"Men are in charge of women," asserts the Qur'an in Chapter 4, verse 34. Other Qur'anic edicts concerning women are also especially harsh, and they are all based on the Qur'an, as well as other traditional Islamic sources. Kasem also asks readers to find a single Western law as misogynist as the following two Haditha, which equate a woman with a rib, and therefore crookedness.
From Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 113, as narrated by Abu Huraira:
"Allah's Apostle said, 'The woman is like a rib; if you try to straighten her, she will break. So if you want to get benefit from her, do so while she still has some crookedness'."
From Shahih Muslim, also narrated by Abu Huraira Volume 8, Number 3467,
"Women were created crooked; if you try to straighten her you will break her and breaking her is divorcing her..."
One of the foremost U.S. advocates of equal rights for Muslim women, in North America and worldwide, is AtlasShrugs.com editor and publisher Pamela Geller.
Here, in the second installment of an exclusive four-part Right Side News series on the Evils of Islamic Political Ideology, investigative journalist Alyssa A. Lappen focuses the discussion on the plight of Muslim women worldwide.
AAL: Why do you consider the situation of women so important within the Muslim war upon Western freedoms?
Atlas: This war is for women, and about women, and the ownership of women. You can judge the health of any society by how they treat women. And obviously in Islam, women are chattel.
I grew up in the Golden Age. I grew up in post World War II America. I was a post-boomer, what they called the generation Joneses. I grew up watching Andy Griffiths and I Love Lucy --- mindless, carefree, free. Freedoms were like the air I breathe. It was not until those freedoms were threatened that I realized how privileged I was and am and how I must do everything in my power to save it. No one stomps on my neck because I wear high heal shoes and low necked sweaters.
And now, the key to our freedom, believe it or not, is the freedom of women in the Muslim world.
AAL: Changing the situation for them seems like a very tall order, almost an impossibility.
Atlas: Women in the Muslim world have to be part of the effort, although they know nothing else and they live under fear and oppression. They have no one fighting for freedom. Their situation is like that of people who've had Stockholm syndrome for 1,400 years.
If you throw a frog in boiling water, he will jump out. But if you put a frog into warm water and turn up the heat until it gets hotter and hotter, that frog will be toast. That is what has happened to Muslim women, and it's why we have to work for them. We have to stop that, because it is already happening here.
People are auto-censoring themselves. There is double speak. People say what seems correct because they are afraid of the truth. Where you are not free to speak we are all in trouble. And the battle line in North America, first and foremost, is for Muslim women.
AAL: How can we show skeptics how difficult things have already grown in the West.
Atlas: Look, all you have to to is going onto YouTube to see videos on how to beat your wife without leaving marks, what tools to use, like they would beat a dog. There are Islamic clerics who teach men to beat their wives "gently."
The long and short of it is, in Islamic countries, women are slaves. And there is still slavery in these countries. They have human trafficking. It is not part of our culture; it is not part of our rules. Of course there is illegal human trafficking here, but it is not systemic. It is against the law. Slavery was abolished with the emancipation proclamation. Slavery is still very much a part of Islamic societies.
They consider it perfectly normal.
But we currently have a United Nations that has paid no attention to the millions of people murdered in the southern Sudan and Darfur genocides. These atrocities are of no consequence to them. So women's rights are certainly not even on the playing field.
AAL: How much of this happens in the West. Do we now have an epidemic in North America, too?
Atlas: So many people ask me how many women in the West are murdered in honor killings. I can't give them an answer. Part of the problem is that even when there's unquestionably been an honor killing, officials do not want to label it. This was the case when Yaser Abdel Said murdered his daughters Amina Said, 18, and Sarah Said, 17 on New Year's Day in 2008. They were gorgeous, vibrant, quintessential girls. But they were too Western and they were dating non-Muslims. They spoke to a teacher at school. They called social services. They totally invested themselves in the West. They took honors and advanced placement classes. None of that mattered. No one helped them. Finally they ran away. The West could not save them. Their mother Patricia and brother, Islam, lured them back to Texas, to be murdered on New Year's Day. Their father Yaser fled the country, probably to Egypt and the FBI issued a wanted poster. Their great aunt, Gail Gartrell, lobbied officials to designate the crimes honor killings, which they were.
Their mother, father and brother are still at large. And it took the FBI 10 months to add the words "honor killing" to the wanted poster. I called it a pig-flying moment, when the FBI finally acted, it was so rare. They called a spade a spade. But within days, the FBI caved in to pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood and revised the wanted poster, to exclude the truth.
AAL: That's horrible. But this is anecdotal. To play the devil's advocate, how do we know the problem is so huge, even in the U.S.
Atlas: For one thing, there is a fear of labeling. It took the FBI 10 months to call those murders honor killings. After 10 months, the wanted poster finally said:
Yaser Abdel Said is wanted for murder. On January 1, 2008, Said took his two teen-aged daughters for a ride in his taxi cab, under the guise of taking them to get something to eat. He drove them to a secluded park in Irving, Texas, where he allegedly shot both girls to death. They died of multiple gunshot wounds. The 17- and 18-year-old girls were dating American boys, which was contrary to their father's rules of not dating non-Muslim boys. Reportedly, the girls were murdered due to an "Honor Killing." Said may have fled to New York or Egypt."But the FBI redacted that language very quickly. I called them on it. I called the agent and the man in charge. And he said, look we do not want to get involved in labeling. So there is real fear. It's fear, or dhimmitude.
Go: there's more.*************************************************************************************************************************
SWI NEWS: 4 Adar 5769, Saturday, February 28, 2009
Experts: Grads in Ashkelon were advanced
Grad rocket that penetrated school's fortification was of a type
rarely fired, with vast potential for damage
02.28.09, 19:46 / Israel News </home/0,7340,L-3082,00.html>
Palestinian fire on the Negev continued Saturday, with terrorist
groups making use of more advanced weaponry. Experts say the two Grad
rockets that landed in Ashkelon Saturday morning were new and improved
models, capable of greater destruction than those usually fired from
One of the rockets hit a school in the southern city, and succeeded
in penetrating the fortification used to protect it from projectiles.
Two tractors required to pull rocket from ground (Photo: AP)
Police said Saturday evening that since the end of Israel's
offensive in Gaza 63 rockets and mortar shells have hit the battered
South, lightly wounding four people and causing 14 to suffer from
The Grad rockets that hit Ashkelon were two of only five or six
locally manufactured 170 mm rockets ever fired at Israel, experts say.
The rarely used rockets have a range of 14 km (8.6 miles) and are
capable of massive damage, evident from the destruction witnesses
described on the scene of Saturday's attack.
Two tractors were required to pull the rocket from the ground in
which it had become lodged.
Two Qassam rockets were also fired at the Negev Saturday. The first
landed in open spaces near a kibbutz in Shaar HaNegev Regional
Council, and residents reported that the Color Red alert, set to warn
against incoming projectiles, was not sounded in the kibbutz. It was
sounded in another town in the area, however.
Another Qassam rocket landed in Eshkol Regional Council in the
evening. No injuries or damage were reported in either of the attacks.
Ashkelon Municipality has planned an emergency meeting for Saturday
night regarding the city's schools, and whether they should continue
to function regularly despite the frequent attacks.
Ashkelon Parents' Committee Chairman Yinon Jibli said a final
decision would be reached at the meeting's end. "We will respect the
municipality's decision but it seems the entire city should be halted
tomorrow and not just the school system. Today was proof of that," he
Last weekend the Parents' Committee sent a letter to Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Defense Minister Ehud
Barak demanding to fortify more of Ashkelon's education facilities.
"For a number of years now the children of Ashkelon have been
serving as hostages in the hands of Hamas' reign of terror," the
letter said in an allusion to kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, held by
Hamas in Gaza.
Lieberman going soft on Iran?
With his sights set firmly on landing the foreign affairs portfolio
in the future government, Yisrael Beitenu Chairman, Avigdor Lieberman,
embarks on a mission to soften his hardliner image in the foreign
press. 'A military operation against Iran? I don't even want to
imagine the consequences'
02.28.09, 18:08 / Israel News </home/0,7340,L-3082,00.html>
WASHINGTON – Yisrael Beitenu Chairman, Avigdor Lieberman, is
adamant to take the edge off his hardliner image in the American
press, hoping this may help him land the foreign affairs portfolio in
the future government.
After voicing support for the establishment of a Palestinian state
in an opinion piece published by 'Jewish Week,' Lieberman continued to
employ decidedly soft language in weekend interviews to the
Post' and 'Newsweek.'
Touching on the Iranian nuclear threat for example, Lieberman swaps
his infamous stance in favor of "bombing Tehran" for a more moderate
solution based on diplomatic and economic sanctions.
"A military operation - I think I don't even want to imagine the
consequences of this step," he says.
Instead, Lieberman advocates more sanctions – "really tough and
very strong political and economic sanctions, as in the case of North
Korea and Libya." Iran is not just Israel's problem, he says, it's "a
headache for all the free world."
Lieberman asserts that as foreign minister in a government lead by
Prime Minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu, he would continue the
peace process but not by "starting with a final agreement," but rather
by going step by step. "You can't start with Jerusalem or the
evacuation of the settlements. You must start with security and the
economy," he says.
"You must strengthen the Palestinian Authority. Hamas is really a
problem for the Palestinians and for Egypt more than Israel. It must
be clear that the problem of our region and of Israel is Iran by
proxy, because Hamas and Jihad are really Iran by proxy as is
Hezbollah. Without Iranian support, they cannot exist."
'I would vacate my settlement'
He also lays out his divisive land-for-land peace proposal, citing
the Cyprus model as an example. The plan would see Israel and the
Palestinian Authority swapping West Bank territories populated by
Jewish citizens for predominately Arab areas in Israel.
"Here is a picture of my settlement behind you, Nokdim, in the
Judean Desert. I even agree to vacate my settlement if there really
will be a two-state solution. What does the leader of the Israeli
Arabs say? They're not interested in any Palestinian state. Even the
Palestinians aren't interested in a Palestinian state."
Asked whether he thought the Palestinians want all of Israel's
territory, Lieberman noted the failure of previous Israeli land
offers. "They want one country from the Jordan River to the sea," he
says. "Barak gave a very crazy proposal to go back to the 1967
borders. Arafat said no. Also, Sharon gave up all of the Gaza Strip.
And at Annapolis, a left-wing government gave very strange and crazy
proposals. Even so, the
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